By Xochi Raye Elysian
“We’ve been existing under this facade, this lie that the Democrats have orchestrated because they consider us (black voters) a low information voter market….Blacks are ideological slaves and pawns to the Democratic party….Racial division and class warfare are central to the Democratic platform.” ~ Candace Owens
I have been a registered Democrat since I was 18. Except for 2016, when I voted Green, I have always voted Democrat, and considered myself a liberal.
Turns out, white supremacy and systemic racism literally has its roots, stems, branches and blossoms from and through the Democratic Party. Since its founding in 1829, the Democratic Party defended slavery, created the “Jim Crow” laws, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, manipulated the 13th amendment, invented the “Black Codes,” founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynchings, fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s, and created crime and immigration legislation that would result in the incarceration of a highly disproportionate population of people of color within a private prison industry. How can a country not be systemically racist when this is literally the fabric of the system?
The slave-operated plantations in the south were owned by Southern Democrats.
The “Jim Crow” laws were created and enacted by Southern white Democratic legislature, and were enforced until 1965.
In the 1857 case Dred Scott v. Sandford, the court ruled that slaves weren’t citizens, they’ were property. The seven Democratic justices of the court all voted in favor of slavery. The two Republican justices voted against.
Abraham Lincoln was killed by a Democrat. Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor was a Democrat. Johnson and the Democratic Party were unified in their opposition to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery; the 14th Amendment, which gave blacks citizenship; and the 15th Amendment, which gave blacks the vote.
When the 13th amendment was passed, it was opposed at great length by House Democrats, and was not passed until there was a clause attached that made sure blacks could still be used as slaves. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”
At the same time, white Southern Democrats began creating “Black Codes,” new types of offenses for black people to be arrested for. They then “leased” prisoners to work on their plantations, coal mines and railroad yards as slaves for decades after slavery was abolished.
The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1865 by a Democrat, Nathan Bedford Forrest. According to historians, “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”
The White Supremacy Campaign, the seed of all white supremacy campaigns, was created by the Democratic party in N. Carolina in 1898 as a political platform.
President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, shared many views with the Klan. He was pro-segregation, re-segregated many federal agencies, and even screened the first movie ever played at the White House, the racist film “The Birth of a Nation,” originally entitled “The Clansman.”
Democrats did not elect a black man to Congress until 1935. 22 black Republicans served in the US Congress by 1900.
Under Franklin Roosevelt, the Public Works Administration’s efforts to build housing for people displaced during the Great Depression focused on homes for white families in white communities. Only a small portion of houses were built for black families, and those were limited to segregated black communities.
The Housing Act of 1949 was proposed by Democrat Harry S. Truman to solve a housing shortage caused by soldiers returned from World War II. The act subsidized housing for whites only, even stipulating that black families could not purchase the houses even on resale. (He also dropped atomic bombs on Japan and initiated the US in the Korean War.)
80 percent of Republicans in Congress supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964, compared to 61 percent of Democrats. Democratic senators filibustered the bill for 75 days.
Democrat President Lyndon Johnson opposed the Civil Rights Act, even though he did pass it. He was purported to have said, “I’ll have them n… voting Democrat for two hundred years,” after setting up a welfare program to create dependency by people of color on the system. At the same time, the Democrats started a persistent campaign of lies and innuendo, falsely equating any opposition to their welfare state with racism.
Democrat Robert Byrd was a senator from 1952-2010. He also started a chapter of the KKK in W. Virginia, and led that group as their Exalted Cyclops.
Although he denies it, records show he was involved with or in support of the KKK for several years. He called non-white people “race mongrels,” voted against The Civil Rights Act and voted twice against the Voting Rights Act. Byrd added language to Homeland Security’s spending bill that required the Federal government to “maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds at all times.” Yet Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama and Joe Biden all considered this man a dear friend. Hillary even called him her mentor, and a “man of unsurpassing eloquence and beauty.” Bill Clinton went so far as to excuse Byrd’s involvement with the KKK.
The former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke is also a Democrat. He created the National Association of White People, and ran for President as a Democrat in 1988. Democrat Senator Al Gore Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act.
Democrat Senator Sam Ervin was a segregationist who voted against both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Yet he continues to be hailed as a hero of the liberal Left, mostly for his role in the Watergate hearings.
William Fulbright was another Democrat that filibustered the Civil Rights Act and also signed the Southern Manifesto, which opposed de-segregation and racial integration. He was honored by Bill Clinton in 1995 as someone who “changed our country and the world for the better…and stood against the 20th century’s most destructive forces.”
Bill Clinton and Joe Biden drafted and passed the 1994 Crime Act. The largest crime legislation in history, this bill gave the federal stamp of approval for states to pass even more tough-on-crime laws, and encouraged even more punitive laws and harsher practices on the ground, including by prosecutors and police, to lock up more people and for longer periods of time. It instituted the death penalty for nearly 60 more crimes, and even encouraged the prosecution of young people as adults.
The bill also included $8.7 billion for prison construction for states that enacted “truth-in-sentencing” laws, which required people convicted of violent crimes to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences, and mandated life sentences for criminals convicted of a felony after two or more prior convictions, including drug crimes. Not surprisingly, between 1992 and 2003, the number of people serving life sentences increased by more than 80 percent. He also signed into law the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which permits law enforcement to arrest and detain non-citizens believed to be in violation of immigration laws. These two acts literally clasped hands with the private prisons industry.
Hillary Clinton received money from the private prison industry. Although she said she was rejecting donations from prison lobbyists, that included only direct donations to Clinton’s campaign, and did not stipulate supportive super PACs or state and federal Democratic committees. Richard Sullivan of Capitol Counsel, a lobbyist for the for-profit prison operator GEO Group, bundled $274,891 in donations for Clinton in 2016.
Hillary Clinton has also made several public racist statements. She said that white people would prefer to vote for her over Obama. She spoke of black young men as “super predators,” insisting that we “need to bring them to heel.” She minimized Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr.’s work, saying things only changed because Johnson passed the bill, and stating “It took a president to get it done.” She once “joked” in an interview, that “they all look alike,” referring to black men. She also said, “Some groups of people are almost always highly successful given only half of a chance, Jews, Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese people, for example, while others Muslims, blacks and Roma, for instance, fare badly almost irrespective of circumstances.”
As a young senator, Joe Biden was originally for desegregation, but changed his stance in 1972 because of pressure from his white constituents. He helped write the Crime Act of 1994, and still defends it today. When asked in the recent Democratic debates about the legacy of slavery, he went on a rant, insinuating that black people don’t know how to raise their children. He also recently told people of color that if they don’t vote for him, they “ain’t black.”
Although private prisons had been functioning in America since 1844, the official private prison industry was started by Democrat Terrell Don Hutto in 1983, when he founded the Corrections Corporation of America. Before founding the CCA, now known as Core Civic, this man ran a cotton plantation the size of Manhattan, and used unpaid convicts to work his lands. After creating the CCA, he was president-elect of the American Correctional Association.
Two other for-profit systems comprise the rest of the private prison industry…GEO Group and Management Training Corporation. Private prisons, according to a 2016 Department of Justice Study, are consistently more violent that their already-dismal public counterparts. In 2016, about 19 percent of federal prisoners were held in private prisons. In fewer than 20 years, Core Civic (CCA) has seen its revenue increase by more than 500 percent, from roughly $280 million in 2000, to $1.77 billion in 2017.
It seems to me there are three incredibly important, inextricably linked, pieces driving racial inequality in America…the incarceration clause of the 13th Amendment, the Crime Bill of 1994 created by Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, and the for-profit prison industry. These artifacts of history, even woven into our constitution, sustain all mentalities of prejudice and racism, whether blatant or subconscious. It all dominoes from the compromised 13th Amendment. To my view, it doesn’t seem like defunding the police is the answer, but focusing on reforming these aspects, as well as many others in our Department of Justice.
Clearly the corrupt and abusive law enforcement system is also inextricably linked to these pieces, and also requires an absolute reconstruction. Police should be once again called and considered Peace Officers, rather than Correction Officers. They must be carefully screened before being accepted, selected according to stringent mental and emotional standards. They should be trained in non-violent conflict resolution, psychology, anger management, stress management, etc. Any cop not wearing a body cam at the time of any incident should be suspended. Most importantly, there must be swift and strict justice for any cop who abuses any citizen physically or verbally. Quotas must be abolished. Police Departments must work collaboratively and democratically with ALL of the communities they serve, increasing transparency, accountability, fairness, and public safety.
Also, as you know, billionaire establishment Democrats essentially own the media and make sure that the vast majority of what you see, hear, feel and believe comes from them.
So what makes anyone think the Democratic party cares about black or brown lives, other than to gain more votes? What makes anyone think their support for Black Lives Matter is anything more than further manipulation? Malcolm X warned against white liberals. He also warned against the manipulation of the media. This is an election year. Last week was an election week. They want your votes. I encourage us all to vote consciously, considering each individual candidate’s history and position carefully.
By no means should anyone read this and think that I am now all about the Republican Party.
Although the GOP was a strong ally for people of color for many years, created specifically to oppose slavery, as it stands now it has plenty of issues I contend with, including racist people in offices and white supremacists in support of the party. At this point both parties are arms of the same system, and it extends far beyond the US. But in terms of “systemic racism,” and why things are the way they are in this country, the reason why each of us are grappling with these issues of racism, to whatever degree…a world that exists to serve rich white people has always been, and still is, the Democratic agenda, whether that be overt, as it was up until Jimmy Carter, or insidious and manipulative, as it has been since then.